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Fatar StudioLogic VMK-188 Plus

Dolphin id:8565 Product SKU:SL-VMK188PLUS

This product is currently not available for purchase.

88 Full-Size Keys, Graded Hammer-Action Keyboard USB controller.

Can't make up your mind? Check out our MIDI controller buyer's guide.

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The Authentic Piano Look - And Feel

As a result of many years of research and development, FATAR SRL, (one of the world's largest and longest established keyboard companies and the only dedicated manufacturer of master keyboards) offers a "real piano" feel in their latest keyboard action design. Even the littlest details haven't gone unnoticed. By applying just the right coloration to the key material Fatar has produced a keyboard that not only looks like a real piano, but also feels like one to play.

Stab, Massage And Bounce

The secret lies in the patented hammer mechanism. Most "Piano Action" instruments rely on weighted keys with a sluggish action and little in the way of dynamic range. FATAR's hammer, on the other hand, is thrown up and forward on its' pivot as the key is depressed, mimicking exactly the mechanism of a traditional acoustic piano. The combination of more mass moving through a greater arc means greater acceleration of the key and a remarkably increased dynamic range.

And now, Fatar has added an even more piano-like feel by developing the "Contoured Strike Force" keybed. CSF applies slightly more force to notes played in the bass register while reducing, slightly, the force applied in the treble region - thus more closely reproducing the physics of a "regulated" acoustic piano.

You'll find that you can put huge power into chord stabs and loud passages while the natural inertia of the hammer mechanism provides exactly the right kind of dynamic counter balance that lets you massage real piano keys for expressive pianissimo. Equally important is the tiny bounce that a hammer gives to the key as it comes to rest. It's this bounce that lets you play those two handed paradiddles, and gives you the accurate, expressive control you're looking for over all your playing, whether it's piano, string, horn or percussion parts.

Harsh Realities - Eased

Separating the keyboard from the synthesizer has been the logical path since the advent of MIDI, but up until now, the cost has been prohibitive. Now, FATAR's amazing value for the money means you can have the great piano feel and comprehensive features of Studio Logic Master Controller Keyboards along with your favorite MIDI sound modules at a price that won't break the bank.

Technical Specification:

  • 88 Full-Size Keys
  • Graded Hammer-Action Keyboard
  • Aftertouch
  • LCD Display
  • Data Entry Dial
  • Pitch and Modulation Joystick
  • USB for Windows XP and Mac OS
  • MIDI Outputs
  • 3 Software Presets: NI B4, NI Pro-53 and Steinberg Cubase
  • 27 User-Programmable Presets
  • 8 Programmable Knobs
  • 9 Programmable Sliders
  • 8 Programmable Buttons
  • 5 Programmable Sequencer Buttons
  • 3 Programmable Pedal Inputs
  • Dimensions: 52,3”x 13,75”x 4,75”
  • Weight: 44 lb


  • VMK-188 Plus
  • Power Adapter
  • PS100 Switch Pedal
  • Instruction Manual
Image: Fatar StudioLogic VMK-188 Plus

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Fatar StudioLogic VMK-188 Plus Reviews


vmk 188+

Well to save a little of your time,
yes it is true. The VMK 188+ is an excellent piano keyboard - very expressive - very solid.
However the manual states that the controllers (sliders/knobs) are repeated as BANKS - This is not true and what you see is what you get.
I wrote to one of the guys that actually developed this model and was told from the horses mouth that the vmk\'s contollers could not be set up to work as seperate banks and that the advertising and the manual were simply wrong. Shame, as the VMK is deserving of a 10 out of 10 rating, however I give it 8 out of 10 due to studiologics slight of hand.


Studio Master Keyboard

When my old Midiman Radium controller keyboard finally gave out, I have to confess to having been somewhat relieved. Whilst it looked just the ticket when I bought it, with all it\'s (then) new-fangled sliders and knobs, I never really worked out how to use these effectively as controllers for my DAW (Sonar) and, more importantly, found the keyboard to be unresponsive and erratic.

Previously, in the Dark Ages, I had used my old faithful Digital Piano - one of the first produced, I believe (a Technics PX5) - as my master keyboard and enjoyed the sensation of playing a realistic instrument, even when programming drums and synths. So this time around, I wanted to relive those feeling of control and interraction with my choice of replacement. And the Gods were smiling: the next day Sound-on-Sound arrived on my doormat, featuring a review of the CME UF80 master keyboard. From that review, it appeared to be the answer to everything and I liked the layout particularly. However, online searches consistnetly brought up a combination of inherent faults in the software/firmware/build, coupled with the sense that customer support was pretty much non-existent.

So I searched for other weighted 88-key master keyboards and time-and-again found myself directed to Fatar\'s Studiologic VMK 188-plus. What was consistently reported was that this is a reliable, well-built keyboard, with a responsive action and bullet-proof casing (well, perhaps not literally...). I can confirm that all the above is true in my experience of this keyboard: it really is a joy to play; looks like it would withstand a minor earthquake and is also pleasing on the eye. I find the action to be nicely waited and smooth, with no glitches or quirks and as a drummer/percussionist myself actually enjoy programming drums and percussion using these keys, as you can really get a feel for the velocty and sample-layers.

If you want a keyboard that will instantly start and stop your DAW (it has transport controls but they aren\'t preset in any meaningful way that i can see), control your plug-ins (similarly, the knobs and fader presets don\'t speak to my software) or make the tea, then you might be better-off looking elsewhere. However, the controlls are sensibly laid-out, are reasonably well built (though not in the same league as the keyboard) and can be programmed to suit pretty much any eventuality and all the settings saved as a user preset. Whilst this was at first time-consuming and irritating, I see the purchase of such a fine instrument as a long-term investment and I think the flexibility of the controllers means that they will be useful for making on-the-fly tweaks to mixes and plug-ins, where a major-league MIDI controller is not required.

So I would give this keyboard 9/10 for performance, 6/10 for ease of use, 9/10 for value for money and a bonus for sheer elegance. I\'m sure that we will have a long and fruitful relationship, with the emphasis on playing music and not twiddling knobs. (can I have my free headphones now, please...?)

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This by no means a proper musical instrument, but it isn’t a toy either. I guess the best way to describe it is - it’s about a much fun as you can have with your clothes on. Give it to a friend to have a go and you won’t get it back. Check out the numerous videos on YouTube to get a good idea of what it can do. Within about five minutes of turning the thing on you can get results that sound, well, truly professional - It feels like cheating when it’s that easy. It’s a new age stylophone, it’s just fun. Go on buy one, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on............


Mackie s225 Loudspeakers

Having just woke up from the morning after our Gig.
We finally got the chance to run our new fantastic looking P.A. speakers,with our Top 80's Synth show band Rubixcube.co.uk who really sounded amazing, we were not going to be dissapointed and the crowd were in for a real treat on their ear drums.
The Mackie s225 have such tremenders power and punch combined with true clarity, they have to be this good, to deal with what our synth guy's will be throwing at them on the road. Thanks guy's for all your help.



Great action, good price, fantastic delivery!

Very good action keyboard. Aluminium casing. Bought it for my wife and she enjoys it. Very nice keys with strong (and heavy) feel. Unfortunately it doesn't work with Vista via USB (at least on one of our PCs), but works very nicely with Windows XP out of the box. I believe it can be hooked up to a Vista PC by using a MIDI-to-USB converter. However in that case the keyboard will have to be connected to the power outlet.

Dolphinmusic delivery is fantastic: placed order 12PM, received the keyboard 7AM next morning!


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Lovely price, lovely features

I personally want to learn piano and control my synths using one device. There are 2 choices: CME and FATAR. While CME seem to be more orienated on synths(z3ta, massive), Fatar looks to be more \"real piano\" friendly.
Lets talk about FATAR.

Touch is fine heavy and resistent, so u can really hit keyboard as much as u want. It provides full dynamic range with no tweaking.
If u apply just a bit of nonlinear velocity curve compensation with any piano plugin, u will get amazing expressivnes too!
Simply wow your girlfriend by playing romantic ballad in tender pianissimo and go straight to intense explosions in forte FORRTISSSSSIMMMOOO :DD

Ok, now synth conrols. Knobs, faders and buttons does the job. they are very simple and nothing special in this area. Configuring and maping conrols is quite easy. I just read manual and in 30 mins i got it all.

Aftertouch works:)

I didnt test all controlers as velocity pedals yet. I just use simple sustain pedal which i got free in this package:D

Build is very fine, very heavy. No cheap plasic.

So if u going to buy keyb controller preferably for piano plugin, and u want more, such as composing in sonar/cubase, conroling modern synths like mssive,z3ta ,or to put some nice vibrato and crescendoss on strings using mod wheel and aftertouch - its great choice.

If u want play fast synths and control them on fly, there are better choices with no hammer keyboard mechanics...

In one sentence its:
Keybord for playing preferably piano, but it does not put any resrictions to use it in different areas, thanx to its full spectrum of features.

I was thinking about this keyb when it was cca 500 pounds, when i saw it for 300 I didnt wait to buy.


Rocks for me!

I've had one of these for a few weeks now.
I bought it for studio/composing work and I\'m quite picky about the feel of the keys.
I had a korg triton Le61 and a korg m1 before but after I started using mainly virtual instruments on my work I decided to sell the synths and go for a good piano weighted controller instead.

I have to tell that I got the CME VX8 first but for some reason it came with a cracked bottom so I had to return it. I still got the test it though for it worked despite of the crack.

I liked the feel of its keys though I had to set the velocitycurve myself first to get a usable dynamic response. I would have gotten the same one for a replacement but my plans changed when I found out that I would have to wait for several months to get one because there was not a single one on stock and CME didn\'t have one either (wonders?).

At that point (propably luckily) I turned my look to the Studiologic VMK-188 Plus.

Creativeness is the most important factor for me when I choose a tool for making music. When it comes to a keyboard it shoul feel natural and intuitive dynamically and I\'m happy to say that the VMK does the job for me. No tweaking. Sraight from the box. It\'s just a joy to play a virtual piano or anything I tried with this one. I currently own the EW/PMI bosendorfer 290 library and it feels great. It\'s easy and intuitive to get all the dynamics from soft to hard so I can just consentrate on creating music.

The midi-features on this thing (as many other reviews I\'ve read on the internet have already stated) are not so great but the faders, knobs and buttons work well on sonar when you map them through the ACT-control-surface and thats all I need now. I desided that if I would need more control over midi I should get a real midi-conroller with real touch sensitive motorized faders which the VX8 didn\'t have (they are just motorized and were sticky on the one I tried).

So the bottomline from my perspective is that the VMK-188 Plus is a great midikeyboard at this pricepoint if feel and playability come first (of course that too is a subjective matter so you should try it first).
If you need a lot of flexibility in the midi department you might be better off with something else.

4/5 Build: Feels sturdy. Pretty heavy though if you had to carry it all day long.

2/5 Features: It feels really good for playing and has some basic midifeatures.

5/5 Feel: Feels great to play. It's got a good action. Ides will just start to flow through your fingers.

5/5 Overall: For the price it's a winner for me.


dynamic range

This is not so much a review as a pertinent comment on part of the information provided, which talks of "a remarkably increased dynamic range".
All any keyboard can do is utilise the range of MIDI values from 1 to 128. Whatever the design of the mechanism in this keyboard does for its feel, to suggest that somehow it increases dynamic range is like Nigel Tufnel boasting that his Marshall goes right up to eleven (one more!).
Don't expect you to publish this; just get your reviewer to think about what's being said.

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